Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Gov't eyes merger of regional health authorities

Published:Friday | May 5, 2017 | 5:00 AM
Christopher Tufton

The Government is considering plans to overhaul the four Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) this year.

Dr Christopher Tufton, health minister, suggested that there would be the need for consolidation of the RHAs through shared services or the possible merger of the health authorities.

"The reality is that there is too much duplication in the system, and in areas such as maintenance, procurement, and project management, there is too little capacity, and by extension, the source of some of the challenges we are facing now with some of our health infrastructure," he said.

An ongoing study to restructure the health system - which is financed by the Inter-American Development Bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank - is intended to produce a 10-year national strategic plan, a three-year implementation plan, and indicators to monitor progress or achievements.

The health-reform process that involved the regionalisation of health authorities in 1998 has never been comprehensively evaluated to determine its effectiveness. The health ministry says that partial studies were done in 2004 and 2007. Additionally, in 2012, an in-depth process was started. It was financed by the Inter-American Development Bank.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com